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View Full Version : Weighing some options: 308 bolt vs. Varmint Upper in 223


Nate74
07-10-2009, 3:28 PM
So I have about an hour to kill until I can get outta here and I discover that Turners has a Howa 308 bolt "package" in their weekly ad for $600.

For a while I've been wanting a rifle to use for banging the steel plates at 200-400 yards and making those really cool sub MOA groups at 100yards and posting them on here ;)

So it seems for about the same price I could either get a 24" upper for use on an existing AR lower or a 308 bolt gun. I know if I did go with the 24" heavy barrel AR upper, I'd eventually end up building a lower for it, but in the short term it would probably just be the upper and I'd swap it with my CAR upper.

So as far as pros and cons:

I don't have any other rifles chambered in 308 so I would have to find/buy ammo especially for a new bolt gun where as I have several other rifles chambered in 223/556 and already have ammo.

You can never have enough ARs.

Would I be happy with a $600 bolt gun very long or would I be looking at a Rem 700 down the road.

Thoughts? Help me kill this last hour :)

swerv512
07-10-2009, 4:52 PM
depends which howa "package" you speak of.
without ever have shot a howa- i hear they're very accrit out the box. but there's no reason a 24" heavy barreled AR wont be as accrit at the ranges you speak of. the AR platform is... well- the AR platform- nothing bad to say about it. you'll probably have more fun with the 24" upper.
when it's time to go bolt action save up for the one you really want- and yes it'll have a Rem700 action...

reidnez
07-10-2009, 5:00 PM
When I buy a new gun, the primary criterion I use for deciding is this: "is it significantly different from anything I already own?" My collection is still pretty modest at this point and, like most of us, I have somewhat limited funds for this hobby, so when I buy something new I want it to be a "new firearms experience"--as cheesy as that sounds. I take no greater pleasure than in handling a new rifle or pistol that I have absolutely no experience with, figuring out how to field-strip it, searching every square-inch for marks and cartouches and searching the web for their meanings. Now I'm starting to get all teary-eyed...

For example, I'd eventually like to have at least one example of every major WWII service rifle. I'm not going to buy more Mosin Nagants or more Mausers until I have a Garand, an Arisaka, a Lee-Enfield, etc. etc...once I have a fairly representative collection, I can focus on all the different variations of each weapon (Finnish Nagants, Yugo Mausers etc.)

So to make a long story short, if I were you, I would probably go with the Howa. But for all I know, you have a safe-full of guns and already have something similar. This is just how I think and how I collect...

Sheepdog1968
07-10-2009, 5:01 PM
Another solution would be to get a bolt gun in 223/5.56x45.

My personal preference is to wait, save up and get what I really want. If Rem 700 bolt gun is what you want, then I personally would wait till I could afford it.

In general, bolt guns are more accurate than semi-autos. From reading onling, it seems as if most of the Rem 700s in 308 are subMOA.

Long term I'd say having both 308 and 223 calibers are worthwhile in your collection. I'm a big fan of the 308 and if I had to choose only a 308 vs a 223, it would be the 308 hands down. The 308 is a more versatile round for hunting, home defense, and distance shooting. Either caliber is better than a pistol round in my opinon.

B Strong
07-10-2009, 5:17 PM
Nothing wrong with a Howa, but you should never spend money just to be spending it - save your dough until you can get a Remington with good glass, and lots of GM match to go with.

L8Apex619
07-10-2009, 8:29 PM
I like the Howa. At $600 - including decent glass - it's a lot of rifle for the money... It's their heavy-barrel (tactical) model too. FWIW, Midway sells that 4-16x44 Nikko Stirling for over $200 (I think Turner's sells them for about $230). I wish I was among those who could afford to drop big money on glass, but alas...

Considering Legacy (the company that imports Howas) lists the MSRP for the rifle alone at $559, you're essentially getting a $200 scope for $40 - with base & rings.

Do a little research and you'll find that the Howa is generally an MOA-or-better rifle... right out of the box. Here's a photo of a 3/4-in group from a Howa 1500 action (chambered in 22-250)... shot at 200 yards.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v94/ginshun/targetsmall.jpg?t=1212080421

Howa is a 100+ year-old company that made Weathrby's barreled actions for quite a long time. Likewise, read some reviews on the Nikko Stirling. They've been making 'em for over fifty years now, and they're popular for 'roo hunting Down Under.

Regarding the general question of another AR or a 30-cal Bolt, as you already have one in the former platform, personally I'd go for one in the latter.

But that's just one man's opinion, and worth exactly what you paid for it. ;)

The owner of Legacy recently bought Turner's, so hopefully this is just the beginning of seeing some sweet deals on the Howas.

Jonathan Doe
07-10-2009, 8:57 PM
Just get one of each. That is usually what I do.;)

Bongos
07-10-2009, 8:59 PM
Personally I do not own a Howa, but what I do have is Remingtons and FN. For $600, I'd look for a Tika, in used market you might find a Rem 700. In the $800 range you can find Rem 700P (Police). I would shell another $200 and get a 700P. As far as Glass, look at the Super Sniper and Falcon Manece.


BTW, if your range is 200-400, then 223 caliber will meet your needs, at 500 yds it drop like a rock

xibunkrlilkidsx
07-10-2009, 9:07 PM
howas arent bad for the money if you dont plan on doing much with them. but if you kind of thiking you may want to customize yours and make it your own style. go remington you cant beat the after market parts selection. if i found a good deal on a howa i would get one, especially to keep one as a back up for desert shooting. i hate sharing my 700, its like passing around your gf to a bunch of people. but remington is my 1st choice.

DirtRacer151
07-10-2009, 9:23 PM
+1 for a Tikka!!

Nate74
07-10-2009, 10:12 PM
Awesome, awesome, awesome! It was my goal to kill an hour or so before leaving work and instead I've heard some GREAT thoughts on the subject.

I think there is some truth in the fact that I really want a Rem700 but am having trouble talking myself into spending the money right now. The Howa would be a stopgap indeed.

So maybe I buy neither but set aside the $600 and then add to it until I can start looking at that 700.

Many thanks to you all for taking the time to chime in, I really do appreciate it!

swerv512
07-11-2009, 6:32 AM
I get reminded why i spend so much on Remington rifles every time i go to the range...
5 shot group of handloads....
the best part is that i'm still improving on groups like this...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/swerv512/IMG_5214.jpg

Nate74
07-11-2009, 7:15 AM
Geez.... show off. :)

swerv512
07-11-2009, 10:43 AM
Geez.... show off. :)

i would like to claim the honors for groups like that but the rifle makes it easy!
That was the third time shooting that 700, BTW:rolleyes:

Sheepdog1968
07-27-2009, 12:35 PM
Awesome, awesome, awesome! It was my goal to kill an hour or so before leaving work and instead I've heard some GREAT thoughts on the subject.

I think there is some truth in the fact that I really want a Rem700 but am having trouble talking myself into spending the money right now. The Howa would be a stopgap indeed.

So maybe I buy neither but set aside the $600 and then add to it until I can start looking at that 700.

Many thanks to you all for taking the time to chime in, I really do appreciate it!

Since it sounds like you want a Rem 700 I agree to wait and save up. It's always worth the wait to get what you want. Buy it once and will last you a life time.

The cost of the gun for the most part ends up being the most inexpensive part of the equation when you factor in how much you will shoot it and the cost of bullets.